Marine Safety Alert: Fuel Switching Safety

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Marine Safety Alert was issued to increase awareness and reiterate general guidance on fuel systems and fuel switching safety in an effort to prevent propulsion losses. After a noted decrease, there has been a recent increase in the number of reported loss of propulsion incidents on deep draft vessels within the Eleventh Coast Guard District. Coast Guard studies and review of marine casualties indicate that lack of maintenance and testing of certain systems, including fuel oil systems, is one of the leading causes of propulsion failures. Advanced planning and careful fuel system management are critical to safely switching fuels. This is especially important if fuel switching is not routine practice. Proper procedures, training, and maintenance are essential for vessels to safely switch between heavy/intermediate fuel oils and marine distillates. Additionally, vessel operators need to have a good understanding of their system requirements and limitations, and determine if any modifications may be necessary to safely switch between intended fuels.
Managing Risk
Extensive analysis of propulsion losses has revealed certain trends among vessels operating on marine distillates. In order to manage risk and improve safety, vessel owners and operators should:
• Consult engine and boiler manufacturers for fuel switching guidance;
• Consult manufacturers to determine if system modifications or additional safeguards are necessary for intended fuels;
• Develop detailed fuel switching procedures;
• Establish a fuel system inspection and maintenance schedule;
• Ensure system pressure and temperature alarms, flow indicators, filter differential pressure transmitters, etc., are all operational;
• Ensure system seals, gaskets, flanges, fittings, brackets and supports are maintained and in serviceable condition;
• Ensure a detailed system diagram is available;
• Conduct initial and periodic crew training;
• Exercise tight control when possible over the quality of the fuel oils received;
• Complete fuel switching well offshore prior to entering restricted waters or traffic lanes; and
• Test main propulsion machinery, ahead and astern, while on marine distillates.
Additionally, the following guidance may assist vessel owners and operators in preventing propulsion losses when operating on marine distillates:
• Monitor for accelerated wear of engine/fuel system components and evaluate maintenance period intervals;
• Ensure fuel viscosity does not drop below engine manufacturer’s specifications;
• Ensure proper heat management of fuel systems to maintain minimum viscosity values;
• Make appropriate fuel rack adjustments to account for potential fuel pressure differentials between residual fuel oils and marine distillates;
• Determine speed limitations for stopping the engine ahead and ordering an astern bell to ensure timely engine response; and
• Ensure start air supply is sufficient and fully charged prior to maneuvering.
This safety alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement. Developed by the Prevention Division, United States Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA.


 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Fuels & Lubes

Bunker Specialists Endofa Name Hoffmann CEO

Endofa, an independent marine fuel supplier and bunker trader, informs it has named Lars Hoffmann as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Endofa, Hoffmann

YPF Tenders to Buy Fuel Oil for June

State-run oil company YPF launched its second fuel oil tender in April, this time to buy two 50,000 metric ton cargoes (some 375,000 barrels each) to be received

China crude oil output up

China's refinery crude throughput in March rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier to 41.92 million tonnes, or 9.87 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National

Maritime Safety

Coast Guard tactical air squadron holds change of command ceremony

Capt. Kevin P. Gavin relieved Capt. Donna L. Cottrell as commanding officer of Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville during a change of command ceremony at HITRON Friday.

RS at SEA JAPAN 2014

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) was the only Russian company to take part in SEA JAPAN 2014 exhibition and conference – one of the major exhibitions of the maritime industry.

Bodies found trapped in S Korean ferry

Divers searching for survivors of a capsized South Korean ferry saw three bodies floating through a window of a passenger cabin on Saturday but were unable to retrieve them,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0700 sec (14 req/sec)